Have you ever wanted to go horseback riding in the Great Smoky Mountains?
If you’re visiting Townsend, Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, it’s a great time to go on a horseback ride and to see some beautiful mountain views from a new perspective.
There are approximately 550 miles of the park’s trails open to horseback riding.
There are also horse camps available for horse owners.
Riding your own horse in the Smokies requires a permit that can be obtained via the NPS, which will also provide a trail map. Stop at a park visitor center for more information about horse use, backcountry camping and other regulations.
How much is horseback riding in the Smoky Mountains?
Horseback rides cost about $40 for a one-hour ride in the Smoky Mountains, on average.
Our list below offers a starting price for adult admission so you can compare the top attractions. Keep in mind, various packages may be available, and prices may vary by season.
Each attraction may also have a weight limit, which is usually between 225-300 lbs per rider. Be sure to check the age and weight requirements upon booking.
Without further ado, here are our top picks for horseback riding in the Great Smoky Mountains:
1. Deer Farm Riding Stables and Petting Zoo
Deer Farm Riding Stables offers horseback riding and a petting zoo, all in one, within its 140-acre facility. The riding trails are mostly shaded, and they also have pony rides for the little ones. Reservations may be required depending on demand, so be sure to plan ahead.
- Adult ticket prices: $32.99 for 60 minutes; petting zoo is $15.99 (may vary by season, subject to change)
- Address: 478 Happy Hollow Ln, Sevierville TN 37876
- Phone: (865) 428-3337
- Website: deerfarmzoo.com
- Insider tip: Ages 5 and up can ride alone. Souvenir treat cups start at $3.50
2. Five Oaks Riding Stables
Five Oaks Riding Stables offers a shady, 3.5 mile trail where you will see mountain streams, mountain views and even an authentic moonshine still. Children six and older may ride on their own.
- Adult ticket prices: $54.99 for one hour (may vary by season, subject to change)
- Address: 1630 Parkway, Sevierville TN 37862
- Phone: (877) 287-6946
- Website: adventureparkatfiveoaks.com
- Insider tip: Five Oaks offers a zipline and horseback combo
3. Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa
Big Rock Dude Ranch offers a 3.5 mile ride through the Great Smoky Mountains with beautiful views. This facility aims to accommodate larger riders, but contact them ahead of time if you have concerns. They also have a full petting zoo, where you can feed goats, llamas and chickens for just $3.
Also available at Big Rock is gem mining and fishing.
- Adult ticket prices: $57.95 for one hour before coupon (may vary by season, subject to change)
- Address: 909 Little Cove Rd, Pigeon Forge TN 37863
- Phone: (865) 428-9398
- Website: horseridingbigrock.com
- Insider tip: Mention their website ad for $5 off
4. Jayell Ranch
Jayell Ranch offers a variety of activities including horseback riding, ziplining, ATV rides and even a monkey and exotic bird experience. The horseback ride takes guests through 260 acres of Smoky Mountain scenery. During the ride, you’ll see views of Mount LeConte and Shield’s Mountain Fort.
- Adult ticket prices: $39.99 for one hour; aviary experience is $19.99, ATV $159.99 (may vary by season, subject to change)
- Address: 1131 Jayell Rd, Sevierville TN 37862
- Phone: (865) 776-1593
- Website: jayellranch.com
- Insider tip: Jayell Ranch is a walk-in only facility
5. Sugarlands Riding Stables
Sugarlands Riding Stables has a simple business plan: Blue skies, leather saddles and fresh air. On this ride, you will go inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with an experienced guide.
- Adult ticket prices: $40 for one hour (may vary by season, subject to change)
- Address: 1409 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
- Phone: (865) 436-3535
- Website: sugarlandsridingstables.com
- Insider tip: This attraction is closed on Sundays
6. Cades Cove Riding Stables
Cades Cove is a very popular destination in the Smoky Mountains. From expert riders to first timers, Cades Cove offers something for everyone with guided trail rides, guided carriage rides, hayrides and plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities.
- Adult ticket prices: $40 (may vary by season, subject to change)
- Address: 10018 Campground Dr, Townsend TN 37882
- Phone: (865) 448-9009
- Website: cadescovestables.com
- Insider tip: Double riding is not permitted here
Petting zoos in the Smoky Mountains
If you want to spend some time with animals on your Smokies vacation, you may be interested in some of the other interactive facilities and petting zoos.
Maybe a horseback ride isn’t your thing. You can still get in some animal time with these zoos.
How much do petting zoos cost in the Smoky Mountains?
Most petting zoos in the Smoky Mountains region will run between $15-20 for adult tickets and roughly $10 for a child’s ticket.
Here are a few additional attractions for animal viewing. Current adult ticket prices are listed so you can easily compare the zoos and plan your trip.
Prices are subject to change.
7. RainForest Adventures Discovery Zoo
RainForest Adventures Zoo is home to hundreds of tropical and temperate animals. They have snakes, turtles, lizards, foxes, parrots, frogs and more! The zoo is open year-round.
- Adult ticket prices: $16.99 (may vary by season, subject to change)
- Address: 109 Nascar Dr, Sevierville TN 37862
- Phone: (865) 428-4091
- Website: rfadventures.com
- Insider tip: Kids under two are free!
8. Parrot Mountain and Gardens
Parrot Mountain and Gardens is a peaceful, Bible-inspired garden and parrot preserve that offers guests a rare chance to interact with exotic birds and view gorgeous gardens. Kids of all ages will love this interactive facility.
- Adult ticket prices: $27.95 (may vary by season, subject to change)
- Address: 1471 McCarter Hollow Rd, Pigeon Forge TN 37862
- Phone: (865) 774-1749
- Website: parrotmountainandgardens.com
- Insider tip: This attraction is open from early March through late November
Have you ever been horseback riding in the Smoky Mountains? Let us know in the comments!